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Landlords can face a stressful and time-consuming process when evicting a tenant. Landlords may find themselves needing to evict a tenant as quickly as possible for several reasons, like non-payment of rent or lease violations. Although every situation is unique, there are steps landlords can take to help expedite the eviction process. In this article, our landlord-tenant attorneys will explore tips for how to evict a tenant faster.
Start with a Strong Lease Agreement
Something that can be done before even needing to evict a tenant is ensuring the lease agreement is legally binding and contains all the necessary provisions. A strong lease will include clear language on rent payment deadlines, late fees, lease violations, and the consequences of non-compliance. The process for giving proper notice and grounds for eviction should also be stated. The landlord can use this document as evidence in court if the tenant violates the lease agreement. A well-drafter lease agreement can help speed up the eviction process by making it clear to the tenant that they are in breach of the lease and that the landlord is within their rights to take legal action. For more information on landlord’s rights read our article, 34 Things A Landlord Can and Cannot Do.
Give Proper Notice
The landlord must give a tenant proper notice before eviction can take place. Notice requirements vary state by state, so landlords should familiarize themselves with local laws. A case can be dismissed if there is a failure to give proper notice, which inevitably prolongs the eviction process.
Tenants may be given time to remedy the lease violation in some states if the landlord gives them notice to cure. If the tenant fails to correct this issue in the time given, the landlord can move forward with the eviction process.
File the Eviction Papers Promptly
Once the notice period has expired, the landlord can file the eviction papers with the court. The court will then serve the tenant with a summons and complaint, which notifies them of the eviction proceedings. The tenant will have a set amount of time to respond to the complaint, typically between five and ten days.
Landlords should file the eviction papers as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays. Some courts have a backlog of cases, so filing promptly can help ensure the case is heard.
Be Prepared for the Court Hearing
The landlord should be well-prepared once the court hearing date arrives. Landlords should ensure they have all the necessary documentation, such as the lease agreement, notice of violation, and eviction notice. Having all of the documents in order will allow for a prepared presentation to the judge on the case, outlining reasons for the eviction and providing evidence to support their claims. The landlord should be prepared to respond to any questions or objections the tenant may raise during the court hearing.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
A landlord may consider hiring an attorney if they are unfamiliar with the eviction process or feel unsure about their legal rights and responsibilities. An experienced attorney can guide the process and ensure everything is done correctly and in accordance with the law.
Even though hiring an attorney may be an additional expense, it can ultimately save time and money. The landlord’s best interest can be protected by ensuring that they comply with local laws and regulations.
In all, there are some steps a landlord can take to expedite the eviction to make the process less time-consuming. By starting with a strong lease agreement, giving proper notice, filing eviction papers promptly, being prepared for the court hearing, and considering hiring an attorney, landlords can help ensure the eviction process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.